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Philosophy Upper Division Certificate Program

Philosophy Upper Division Certificates are for students (who need not be philosophy majors or minors) with specialized interests within philosophy. They involve taking four thematically linked upper division philosophy courses. The certificates are in the following fields:

  • PHILOSOPHY, LAW, AND POLITICS
  • HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
  • PHILOSOPHY, LOGIC, AND SCIENCE
  • PHILOSOPHY OF MIND AND PSYCHOLOGY
  • PHILOSOPHY, ETHICS, AND VALUE

Completion of a certificate will:

  • give students a deeper understanding of specialized fields
  • aid students in graduate exam testing. Philosophy students score highest of all majors on the LSATs, GREs, and GMATs
  • enhance graduate school and job applications in many different fields connected with certificate themes
  • be noted separately on UMBC transcripts and degrees

To sign up for a particular certificate, please complete the declaration form.  The particular certificate acronyms are highlighted in yellow on the second page of that form, and should be entered in the section Declaring Minors and Certificates, under Primary Certificate.

DESCRIPTIONS OF PHILOSOPHY UPPER DIVISION CERTIFICATES

For Philosophy Majors and Minors: no more than one course used to meet the Philosophy Major requirements in Logic, Ethics, Metaphysics/Epistemology, and History can be used to meet a certificate’s requirements. Philosophy majors and minors must complete at least three courses in the list of courses for the History of Philosophy certificate other than PHIL 321 and PHIL 322.

For all Students: a course meeting one set of Certificate requirements cannot be used to meet another set of Certificate requirements.

Students may petition the Department Chair in order to substitute relevant special or advanced topic courses toward meeting Certificate requirements.

 

  1. PHILOSOPHY, LAW, AND POLITICS CERTIFICATE: This certificate will be useful for students looking to gain a strong background in the philosophical foundations of law, legal studies, political theory and public policy, and particularly those students who aim to attend law school or pursue graduate studies in fields related to law, policy, or politics, or who plan to seek employment in these

Students must complete (1) a three-credit 100 or 200 level philosophy course to meet philosophy upper division course prerequisites, and (2) either PHIL 356 (Philosophy of Law) or PHIL 355 (Political Philosophy) (each three credits), and (3) three additional courses from the following list (each three credits):

  • PHIL 354: Ethics, Animals, and the Environment
  • PHIL 355: Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 356: Philosophy of Law
  • PHIL 357: Philosophy and Human Rights
  • PHIL 358: Bioethics
  • PHIL 471: Freedom, Determinism, and Responsibility
  • PHIL 486: Kant’s Moral and Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 487: Hegel and Marx

 

  1. HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY CERTIFICATE: This certificate will be useful for students looking to gain a strong background in the history of philosophy, including but not restricted to particular historical periods such as Ancient Philosophy and 18th and 19th Century European Philosophy, and particularly for students who aim either to pursue graduate study in philosophy, ancient studies, or history or seek employment in fields with a strong humanities orientation, such as publishing, teaching, and

Students must complete (1) a three-credit 100 or 200 level philosophy course to meet philosophy upper division course prerequisites, and (2) either PHIL 321 (History of Ancient Philosophy) or PHIL 322 (History of Modern Philosophy) (each three credits), and (3) three additional courses from the following list (each three credits). Philosophy majors and minors must complete at least three courses in the list of courses for the History of Philosophy certificate other than PHIL 321 and PHIL 322.

  • PHIL 320: Topics in the History of Philosophy
  • PHIL 321: History of Ancient Philosophy
  • PHIL 322: History of Modern Philosophy
  • PHIL 327: American Pragmatism
  • PHIL 334: Asian Philosophy
  • PHIL 420: Advanced Topics in 19th and 20th Century European Philosophy
  • PHIL 481: Advanced Topics in Ancient Philosophy
  • PHIL 482: Aristotle’s Ethics
  • PHIL 483: Plato’s Republic
  • PHIL 484: Kant’s Theoretical Philosophy
  • PHIL 485: Nietzsche
  • PHIL 486: Kant’s Moral and Political Philosophy
  • PHIL 487: Hegel and Marx

Note: Majors and minors must complete at least three courses in the list of courses for the History of Philosophy certificate other than PHIL 321 and PHIL 322.

 

  1. PHILOSOPHY, LOGIC, AND SCIENCE CERTIFICATE: This certificate will be useful for students who are looking to gain a strong background in the philosophical foundations of various sciences, logic, scientific reasoning and methodology, and particularly for students who aim either to pursue graduate studies in philosophy of science, logic, and other science-related fields including medical school, to seek employment in science labs and businesses with a significant foothold in the natural or social sciences, or to teach science or

Students must complete (1) a three-credit 100 or 200 level philosophy course to meet philosophy upper division course prerequisites, and (2) either PHIL 346 (Deductive Logic) or PHIL 372 (Philosophy of Science) (each three credits), and (3) three additional courses from the following list (each three credits):

  • PHIL 248: Introduction to Scientific Reasoning
  • PHIL 346: Deductive Logic
  • PHIL 371: Epistemology
  • PHIL 372: Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 373: Metaphysics
  • PHIL 394: Philosophy of Biology
  • PHIL 395: Philosophy of Physics
  • PHIL 472: Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 474: Possible Worlds
  • PHIL 478: Philosophy and Evolution
  • PHIL 479: Paradoxes

 

  1. PHILOSOPHY OF MIND AND PSYCHOLOGY CERTIFICATE: This certificate will be useful for students looking to gain a strong background in understanding the nature of the mind and the philosophical foundations of psychology as well as their relations to fields such as computer science, cognitive science, cognitive and social psychology, and neuroscience, and particularly for students who aim to pursue graduate study or seek employment in these and related

Students must complete (1) a three-credit 100 or 200 level philosophy course to meet philosophy upper division course prerequisites, and (2) either PHIL 380 (Philosophy of Mind) or PHIL 353 (Morality and Psychology) (each three credits), and (3) three additional courses from the following list (each three credits):

  • PHIL 345: Philosophy of Language
  • PHIL 353: Morality and Psychology
  • PHIL 371: Epistemology
  • PHIL 373: Metaphysics
  • PHIL 380: Philosophy of Mind
  • PHIL 471: Freedom, Determinism, and Responsibility
  • PHIL 473: Self-Knowledge
  • PHIL 475: Irrationality
  • PHIL 477: Minds, Machines, and Logic

 

  1. PHILOSOPHY, ETHICS, AND VALUE CERTIFICATE: This certificate will be useful for students looking to gain a strong background in understanding the nature of ethics, ethical theory, and what makes things have value more generally, and particularly for students who aim either to pursue graduate study or seek employment in ethics-related fields, such as philosophy, law, public policy, bioethics and medical ethics. For students applying for graduate study in medicine, medical schools are increasingly emphasizing the importance of an ethics background for students seeking admission to medical

Students must complete (1) a three-credit 100 or 200 level philosophy course to meet philosophy upper division course prerequisites, and (2) either PHIL 350 (Ethical Theory) or PHIL 353 (Morality and Psychology (each three credits), and (3) three additional courses from the following list (each three credits):

  • PHIL 350: Ethical Theory
  • PHIL 353: Morality and Psychology
  • PHIL 354: Ethics, Animals, and the Environment
  • PHIL 357: Philosophy and Human Rights
  • PHIL 358: Bioethics
  • PHIL 368: Aesthetics
  • PHIL 450: Metaethics
  • PHIL 452: Advanced Topics in Ethics
  • PHIL 471: Freedom, Determinism, and Responsibility
  • PHIL 482: Aristotle’s Ethics
  • PHIL 486: Kant’s Moral and Political Philosophy

 

EXAMPLES OF HOW TO COMPLETE CERTIFICATES WITHIN THE 36 CREDITS OF THE PHILOSOPHY MAJOR

PHILOSOPHY, LAW, AND POLITICS CERTIFICATE: 36 credits

PHIL 146: Critical Thinking

PHIL 152: Introduction to Moral Theory

PHIL 321: History of Ancient Philosophy (meets major History requirement) PHIL 322: History of Modern Philosophy (meets major History requirement)

PHIL 380: Philosophy of Mind (meets Epistemology/Metaphysics major requirement) PHIL 346: Deductive Logic (meets Logic major requirement)

PHIL 355: Political Philosophy (meets Philosophy, Politics, and Law mandated certificate requirement and Ethics major requirement)

PHIL 357: Philosophy and Human Rights (meets Philosophy, Politics, and Law certificate requirement and upper division major elective requirement )

PHIL 358: Bioethics (meets Philosophy, Law, and Politics certificate requirement and upper division major elective requirement)

PHIL 394: Philosophy of Biology

PHIL 471: Freedom, Determinism, and Responsibility (meets Philosophy, Law, and Politics certificate requirement and 400-level major elective requirement)

PHIL 477: Minds, Machines, and Logic (meets 400-level major elective requirement)

 

HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY CERTIFICATE: 36 credits

PHIL 100: Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 150: Contemporary Moral Problems

PHIL 321: History of Ancient Philosophy (meets major History requirement)

PHIL 322: History of Modern Philosophy (meets History of Philosophy certificate mandated requirement and major History requirement)

PHIL 371: Epistemology (meets Epistemology/Metaphysics major requirement) PHIL 346: Deductive Logic (meets Logic major requirement)

PHIL 350: Ethical Theory (meets Ethics major requirement) PHIL 355: Political Philosophy

PHIL 372: Philosophy of Science (meets upper division major elective requirement)

PHIL 482: Aristotle’s Ethics (meets History of Philosophy certificate requirement and upper division elective major requirement)

PHIL 486: Kant’s Moral and Political Philosophy (meets History of Philosophy certificate requirement and 400-level major elective requirement)

PHIL 487: Hegel and Marx (meets History of Philosophy certificate requirement and 400-level major elective requirement)

 

PHILOSOPHY, LOGIC, AND SCIENCE CERTIFICATE: 36 credits

PHIL 100: Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 146: Critical Thinking

PHIL 248: Introduction to Scientific Reasoning (meets Philosophy, Science, and Logic certificate requirement)

PHIL 321: History of Ancient Philosophy (meets major History requirement) PHIL 322: History of Modern Philosophy (meets major History requirement) PHIL 346: Deductive Logic (meets Logic major requirement)

PHIL 353: Morality and Psychology (meets Ethics major requirement)

PHIL 369: Philosophy of Humor (meets upper division major elective requirement)

PHIL 372: Philosophy of Science (meets Philosophy, Logic, and Science mandated certificate requirement and Epistemology/Metaphysics major requirement)

PHIL 394: Philosophy of Biology (meets Philosophy, Logic, and Science certificate requirement and upper division major elective requirement)

PHIL 474: Possible Worlds (meets Philosophy, Science, and Logic certificate requirement and 400-level major elective requirement)

PHIL 483: Plato’s Republic (meets 400-level major elective requirement)

 

PHILOSOPHY OF MIND AND PSYCHOLOGY CERTIFICATE: 36 credits

PHIL 100: Introduction to Philosophy PHIL 152: Introduction to Moral Theory

PHIL 321: History of Ancient Philosophy (meets major History requirement) PHIL 322: History of Modern Philosophy (meets major History requirement) PHIL 346: Deductive Logic (meets Logic major requirement)

PHIL 353: Morality and Psychology (meets Philosophy of Mind and Psychology mandated certificate requirement and Ethics major requirement)

PHIL 369: Philosophy of Humor

PHIL 373: Metaphysics (meets Epistemology/Metaphysics major requirement)

PHIL 380: Philosophy of Mind (meets Philosophy of Mind and Psychology certificate requirement and upper division elective major elective requirement)

PHIL 473: Self-Knowledge (meets Philosophy of Mind and Psychology certificate requirement and 400-level major elective requirement)

PHIL 475: Irrationality (meets Philosophy of Mind and Psychology certificate requirement and 400-level major elective requirement)

PHIL 478: Philosophy and Evolution (meets upper division elective major requirement)

 

PHILOSOPHY, ETHICS, AND VALUE CERTIFICATE: 36 credits

PHIL 150: Contemporary Moral Problems PHIL 152: Introduction to Moral Theory

PHIL 321: History of Ancient Philosophy (meets major History requirement) PHIL 322: History of Modern Philosophy (meets major History requirement) PHIL 346: Deductive Logic (meets Logic major requirement)

PHIL 350: Ethical Theory (meets Philosophy, Ethics, and Value mandated certificate requirement and Ethics major requirement)

PHIL 354: Ethics, Animals, and the Environment

PHIL 368: Aesthetics (meets upper division major elective requirement)

PHIL 357: Philosophy and Human Rights (meets Philosophy, Ethics, and Value certificate Requirement and upper division elective major requirement)

PHIL 373: Metaphysics (meets Epistemology/Metaphysics major requirement)

PHIL 450: Metaethics (meets Philosophy, Ethics, and Value certificate requirement and 400-level major elective requirement)

PHIL 482: Aristotle’s Ethics (meets Philosophy, Ethics, and Value Certificate Requirement and 400-level major elective requirement)